House Majority Whip Tom Emmer has formally ruled out a Speakership bid as House Republicans slowly but surely rally around Judiciary Committee chairman Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), the GOP conference nominee for Speaker,in the drawn out Speakership fight, as it enters its third week.
“Whip Emmer has no plans to run for Speaker,” Team Emmer Executive Director Michael McAdams told Breitbart News on Friday night. “Whip Emmer spoke to Congressman Jordan directly this AM and told him he was supporting him. We have been in touch with his team all day in support.”
The statement ruling out a Speakership run from Emmer’s team comes after Jordan won the GOP conference nomination for Speaker of the House earlier on Friday, and after some media outlets speculated that Emmer might be angling for the position.
Emmer’s team did push back on these reports at the time earlier on Friday:
But now with this on record statement from his top adviser Emmer is making clear he will not be seeking the speakership–clearing the way for Jordan.
Another part of the reason why this new Emmer statement is so important and particularly newsworthy, too, is just the sheer nature of this long battle for the gavel has torn apart members and various parts of leadership. Concerns about leaks and attacks being planted in media by various operatives with different operations—whether they are true or not—have permeated the Speakership fight as the House has been paralyzed for weeks on end, seemingly with no end in sight. But it’s also important, as some Republicans who might have been holding out for someone else other than Jordan are quickly running out of other people to consider, as Emmer is making clear he does not intend to seek the gavel.
Jordan’s vote count in the ballot that nominated him, where he ran against Rep. Austin Scott (R-GA), saw Jordan win 124 votes to Scott’s 81 votes. Later, a second vote after Jordan became the conference nominee for the position asked members point blank on a secret ballot if they would support Jordan on the floor now that he is the nominee. Jordan won that vote 152 to 55.
WASHINGTON, DC – APRIL 27: House Republican leaders, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan speaks during a news conference to introduce new immigration and border legislation following weeks of inter-party negotiations over policy differences, at the U.S. Capitol on April 27, 2023 in Washington, DC. Blaming President Joe Biden and his Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas for all the problems on the southwest border, Republicans said their proposed bill will be up for a vote in the House in two weeks. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
For Jordan to win the Speakership, he needs to—assuming all voting members of the House are present and voting for a person, and given the two vacancies in the chamber—win 217 votes. Some have been concerned that Jordan is far from that, but many sources who have spoken to Breitbart News in the past several hours since Jordan’s nomination say that some of the still high tensions, including especially from allies of House Majority Leader Steve Scalise, have tempers high and they expect the conference to come back early next week with clearer heads. Scalise, who originally won the GOP conference vote to become the Speaker-designate earlier in the week, withdrew from the race on Thursday night when it became clear he could not get to 217 votes.
House Majority Leader Steve Scalise, Republican of Louisiana, speaks to the press after a House Republicans caucus meeting at the US Capitol in Washington, DC, October 11, 2023. Republicans nominated Scalise as their candidate for speaker of the US House of Representatives on October 11, 2023, as they sought to heal bitter internal divisions paralyzing their domestic agenda and preventing action on the Israel crisis. (Photo by SAUL LOEB / AFP) (Photo by SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images)
Some political observers have thought this process might drag out beyond Jordan—and it still might given the uphill climb that Jordan faces—but others still believe Jordan has a much easier path to get there than anyone else. That’s because Jordan is a favorite of the conservative hardliners, and the opposition to him seems in part just to be members upset with how frantic and chaotic the past two weeks for House Republicans have been.
Scott, who ran against Jordan on Friday and lost, is now one of Jordan’s highest-profile backers, making clear publicly he is making calls on Jordan’s behalf and working to elect the Ohio conservative to wield the House’s gavel.
Former Speaker Kevin McCarthy has been helping clear the way for Jordan since he won the nomination on Friday, too, formally endorsing him and making calls on his behalf for the Judiciary Committee chairman to take his old gig. McCarthy has predicted confidently that Jordan will be able to consolidate the requisite 217 votes after members cool down over the weekend and spend time with their constituents and family members.
WASHINGTON, DC – JULY 21: U.S. Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) (L) listens as House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) speaks at a news conference on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s decision to reject two of Leader McCarthy’s selected members from serving on the committee investigating the January 6th riots on July 21, 2021 in Washington, DC. Speaker Pelosi announced she would be rejecting Rep. Jim Banks and Rep. Jordan’s assignment to the committee. (Photo by Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)
Some moderates have expressed concerns over some ideological disagreements with Jordan, but Jordan’s team has leaned into his presence as a unifying force for the conference. He elected to have people like Rep. Dusty Johnson (R-SD) among others nominate him in conference and has been empowering members from across the ideological spectrum as he seeks to lock down the votes for the gavel. What’s more, Jordan is known as a prolific fundraiser—one of McCarthy’s biggest traits too which was a huge selling point for the Californian when he sought the gavel—and the Ohio firebrand has promised to hit the trail for members to protect the GOP majority next November in what’s sure to be an uphill battle due to redistricting battles playing out in court right now.
What’s more, Jordan’s chops with conservatives too bring an added benefit for the conference: He can help better sell the right on legislation essential to governing especially as a government funding deadline looms just over a month away now.
Whether Jordan will be able to bring it in for a landing is still, even with all of these factors going for him, a tall order. He has to convince 62 more Republicans to vote for him on the floor than said they would on the second ballot in conference on Friday. Some members who were previously skeptical of him, though, have said they would see where things go over the weekend.
But if Jordan gets there, Republicans will finally be able to get back on point and focused on their agenda–in particular on dealing with the looming government funding deadline just weeks away on Nov. 17. The faster they get there, the more likely they are to succeed in more policy victories in that moment–and avoid a government shutdown–so frankly a vote for Jordan for any moderate Republican in the House is a vote for a steady normalcy that Republicans have not seen in weeks.